BEREA – Browns running back Peyton Hillis is confident his strained quadriceps won’t hinder him Sunday against the Steelers and their top-ranked run defense.
He returned to practice in a limited capacity Friday after missing two days, and was listed as questionable on the injury report.
“During pregame you have to turn it loose,” he said. “But I’ll be very surprised if I’m not 100 percent. I feel great right now.”
Hillis was bothered by the injury before the Falcons game last week and expressed similar confidence. He started the game, but aggravated the injury and was in and out of the lineup.
“It wasn’t 100 percent then,” he said. “I knew in pregame it was going to be a long day. In the moment, you just go. You try to play through it. It definitely took its toll during the game.”
Hillis said the rest this week helped and the leg held up when he tested it.
“It feels great,” he said. “I’m not the type to lie. That’s what it is.”
If Hillis weren’t able to play, the Browns would be forced to use Mike Bell or James Davis. Bell was acquired Thursday in a trade with Philadelphia and Davis has four carries this year.
The other hot topic inside Browns headquarters is rookie quarterback Colt McCoy, who’s slated to start Sunday. Coach Eric Mangini wouldn’t make a definitive announcement, but the team is preparing for McCoy to be the man.
Veteran quarterbacks Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace didn’t practice all week and were listed as doubtful.
Coordinator Brian Daboll said McCoy looked comfortable in practice leading the first-team offense.
“He’s done a good job in the huddle with the older veterans,” Daboll said. “This is obviously what he’s dreamt of, what he’s wanted. It didn’t seem too big for him.”
Defensive end Robaire Smith (back) and offensive lineman John St. Clair (ankle) were listed as doubtful.
Defensive linemen Kenyon Coleman (knee) and Shaun Rogers (elbow), tight end Robert Royal (shoulder), special teamer Nick Sorensen (calf) and offensive lineman Floyd Womack (knee) were questionable.
Center Alex Mack (shoulder), receiver Joshua Cribbs (ankle), left tackle Joe Thomas (shin) and safety Abram Elam (knee) were probable.